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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
Force fined over speeding police car
Speed camera picture
Speed camera picture of the unmarked police car
A police force has been fined 500 because an officer refused to own up to a speeding offence.

An unmarked police car was caught speeding at 48mph in a 30mph zone on the A27 near Fareham, Hampshire - but no officer has been willing to admit to being the driver.

Hampshire deputy chief constable Ian Readhead told Aldershot magistrates he was acutely embarrassed by the offence.

The court heard that despite an "exhaustive" four-month investigation, that included trying to enhance the picture taken by the speed camera, the guilty officer has not been found.


I appear in front of you today with some considerable embarrassment

Ian Readhead, Deputy chief constable

Mr Readhead had been asked by magistrates to appear in court to explain why his force could not identify the driver of the police car.

In court the Hampshire Police Authority pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to give information about the identity of the driver.

Solicitor Michael Woodford for the defence told the court that the vehicle had been allocated to CID officers at Fratton police station, but none of them had owned up to being the driver.

He said the keys to the vehicle were not kept secure.

About 100 officers who were on duty on the day could, in theory, have used the vehicle.

Tarnished reputation

Mr Readhead told the court: "I appear in front of you today with some considerable embarrassment.

"Having spent 30 years in this constabulary trying to put people in this location I take no pleasure in standing here myself this morning.

"We try to make sure our officers are accountable to the law.

"Unfortunately, the individual has chosen not to come forward.

"In doing that he has tarnished the reputation of all those in the constabulary.

"If I ever do discover who was driving the vehicle I would ensure they appear before you and are disciplined."

He said procedures had been improved to make sure log books were completed by officers taking out vehicles.


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See also:

21 Apr 02 | England
30 Jan 02 | UK Politics
26 Sep 01 | Wales
02 Aug 01 | UK
21 Jan 00 | UK
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